Given the caterwauling from Montana Republicans about the need for competitive primary races in Senate campaigns, it’s certainly been surprising to see them give a free pass to Steve Daines, who’s just “too busy” to attend a candidate forum sponsored by the Great Falls Tribune in May. The Tribune reports, that despite commitments from the three Democrats and Republican Champ Edmunds “Daines declined to participate and newcomer Cundiff did not respond to an invitation.”
It makes sense that Daines doesn’t want to attend an event without a pre-screened audience there to toss him softballs he can hit with the platitude bat he carries around. After all, he’s alienated conservatives by voting to end the government shutdown after voting for the government shutdown and failing to vote to abolish Obamacare for the 455th time. His primary opponent Champ Edmunds had this to say:
“I am disappointed that we didn’t get to hear why Daines voted for (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) and allowed spying on Americans. I’d like to hear why he voted four times to raise debt ceiling before he voted against. I’d love to talk about why he voted to fund Obamacare, even though he says he’s against it.”
At the same, Daines has upset moderate and liberal Montanans by voting to line his own pockets at the expense of college students, the working poor, and the elderly.
With a record like that, I wouldn’t want to show up for a chance to speak to real Montanans either. Someone might ask him why he wants the IRS to investigate those who have been sexually assaulted, for instance.